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Precious Plastic Version 4? 😮

This topic contains 160 replies, has 107 voices, and was last updated by  Alice Garten 3 weeks ago.

Dave Hakkens davehakkens

Precious Plastic Version 4? 😮

30/01/2018 at 22:19

You might have been aware that we launched Precious Plastic Version 3 a few months back. Maybe. We made many new things, introduced the bazar, container workspace, a series of art objects, a map for collaboration, more techniques and a way for the community to share their own tutorial videos. Quite a lot. Our main focus for this version was on expanding the platform and making it easier for people to collaborate.

This period is really fun for us. Seeing what the community, you guys do with the information. Always exciting to see if its used the way we intended. But besides observing we also gather feedback, comments, posts, topics we see or improvements we could do. And I can’t help myself, but slowly I think about what a V4 would look like.

So thats where this topic is for. To share your ideas, suggestions,improvements. What would you like Precious Plastic to work on and improve next? Throw it in here! Together we set the course 💪
*Oh and I might look inactive every now and then because i don’t leave a reply but I read all of it. No kidding.

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02/06/2018 at 03:03

Cool ideas here. I may be a bit late to the game but I wanted to drop in and say I am submitting a grant tonight to build two of the machines as part of my masters thesis project. I aim to create parts for Precious Plastic machines out of recycled plastic, as mentioned earlier. I actually came up with this idea independently this morning, haha. Glad to come here and see some other people thinking about this stuff. It feels like common sense.

I think Precious Plastic USA is doing a great service and I intend to buy from them when I can secure some funds. However $85 for a shredder hopper is kind of nuts. If I could get that and a few other parts made of plastic I imagine I could cut off $100-200 at least. If the tables are able to be made from plastic, perhaps cut even more out. This would also prove that Precious Plastic is a useful endeavor, not just for art objects. I am an industrial designer so I understand the attraction to art, but as many are saying, art isn’t going to save the world! Making it cheaper for others to recycle plastic… well, that is one thing worth trying.

Also should mention I’m not looking to put Precious Plastic USA or anyone else out of business. In fact a partnership with a willing fab shop would be ideal because I have neither the tools nor skills to do the requisite metal work. I just want to help flex the muscles of Precious Plastic to make the whole initiative more accessible.

Some other ideas-
-solar thermal technology
-trike mounted workshop

Please send me luck on the grant!

31/05/2018 at 23:18

New machine extrusion blowing form

For inspiration

29/05/2018 at 09:57

Explaining deeper, stuff about Project Kamp. The goal of any project similar to project Kamp should be to achieve selfsufficiency, that is, to produce all of the goods and services that the community needs (very important to make the distinction between needs and wants) like food, water, shelter, sewage, recycling, production of goods (like clothing, hygiene and cleaning products) education and health… If the members of the community have to go out of the community into the old cities to access a dentist, and to buy cleaning products, that will generate problems. The more efficient the community is, in terms of producing and distributing goods and services, the better its functioning will be. So we have to be strategic, develop a strategic plan that makes the projects development viable. And what makes things accessible is automation. Automating the process of production and distribution of goods and services makes these goods and services cheap or even free (which is the goal, everything free for everyone) so, again, my suggestion for the Project Kamp is to make it as organized and startegic as possible. Buy a piece of land. Build recycling center. With recycled plastic (and metal, Precious Metal should be done too) build houses and machines that produce food (like Farmbot) and machines that transport it and prepare and cook it. As I’ve said befor, we could build a Vegan Burger Factory, a building with a set of machines and beltways that receive the vegetables, wash them, cut them mix them and prepare them into vegan sandwiches that are designed (by nutrition professionals) to serve as a full meal and sandwiches that are also very cheap… the sandwiches would come out of the factory wrapped in a paper package (which could serve and a newsletter) and could be distributed to the adjacent cities to be sold in Automated Vending Machines… we are all familarized with such machines, think about it, these machines can sell vegan burgers, full vegan health-bomb meals. think of the impact of general public health. millions of homeless people being able to access healthy food. This is the first time I’m sharing this idea with anyone, and I had it very recently. If we also produced these Automated Vending Machines, making them Precious plastic style, with recycled materials, we could lower their cost tremendly, considering that these machines as sold by the current companies that make them are enourmous, like 10 thousand euro for one machine… Also, we could develop these machines to accept 2kg of plastic of metal trash in exchange for 1 sandwich, this way homeless people could collect trash from the streets and buy food with it. the only workers necessary would be one or two supervisioning the factories, and the people trasnporting the burgers from factory to vending machine, replenishing it when its empty. the transporter delivers the batch of sandwiches to the vending machine and take the trash collected back to where the factory is (project kamp, where the food is produced and also where the recycling of the trash collected wil take place) where it is used to build new machines to be sold for other regions in a form of franchising. Please, I’ve been studying the Resource Based Economy and how to build a succesful sustainable community where everything is free for everyone for 8 years, please take what I’m saying into consideration, its very important. I available for any doubts or questions and available as well for moving and helping out, however I still think you guys should come here to Brazil and make project Kamp here, 300.000 euro is 1.5 milion real (our currency), we can buy a piece of land large enough for a city of 10.000 people with that and still have 500.000 to invest in the begining of the construction…

29/05/2018 at 07:58

Hey everyone, I’m not as active as I wish I could be but have a lady currently and havebt been able to share much. I worked in a plastics injection molding company as a teenager and have always been into wanting to find usable ways to use plastic.

What I want to be involved in is a way for us to recycle plastic, and build homes.  Take plastic and extrude it into a shape that can be stacked and built together like Legos in a way to help homelessness in the United States and in areas of poverty all over the world.  I have a design in mind for how to blocks would be built, and in finding ways to use these blocks for other things like storage sheds or garden walls, etc could be ways to continue working on building housing and pay our living needs.

After seeing the sad state of some counties around the world and the sad state of homeless in the US makes me want this to happen even more.

Every human needs 3 things, food, water, and shelter. I want to provide #3 to everyone around the world

28/05/2018 at 20:37

As this is my first post, Hello Everyone!

My thoughts about next steps:

Give up making filament for 3D printing. It have to be very strict with dimensions, else it will block nozzle and make a lot of frustration. Also most of people print with PLA, which is non-toxic (no fumes) and fully bio-degradable. Focus on other things:

1. Recycled products. We have to design better products to showcase this technology. They must be useful, with nice feel and unique look. Like multi-coloured bowls, things you don’t see in supermarket. Avoid fragmentation, product must be universal, for everybody (a case for exact smartphone model is not the best choice). Maybe household goodies? Jewelry? Half-finished products, maybe knifes handles (for someone to make full knife of course). Also I think making or buying simple CNC machine for molds will help A LOT.

2/ Communication and promotion. There is a tool in youtube to make translations, you could mention it sometimes, Dave! I think more people will then help with translation of Precious Plastic videos! There is huge number of people that doesn’t speak english, that would love this idea, we shall reach to them. I will help with translation to polish, as I see nobody made it yet.

2a/ Maybe we should open websites in local languages, that will show this idea, explain motivation and direct here.
2b/ I also think we should design a poster/brochure with a brief description of project, for everybody to print and deliver (or just e-mail) to Fab Labs and Hackerspaces etc. Also universities, workshops, eco-friendly organizations, media like LowTechMagazine.com, and basically every place they may like the idea.

3/ 100% for pedal powered shredder. Also shredder+extuder combined sounds great.

4/ To improve design – get inspiration from industrial solutions like https://www.mercodor.de/en/html/shredder_mz.html maybe even contact and visit companies within recycling industry.

That’s all, btw congrats on the prize!

28/05/2018 at 19:54

@flo-2 i saw industrial shredders with very short knifes running at really high speed, giving me hope that the reducer can be eliminated. i will see how this goes soon 🙂

28/05/2018 at 19:26


Good input! Thanks!

-Lasercutting: what would you recommend using instead of lasercut parts?

-Shorter blades: I totally agree! Our shredder gets stuck often because of the not optimal blade design! – However I wouldn’t make them thicker.
-Belt drives are maybe cheaper, but also more difficult to build and have huge safety hazards in comparison to a gearbox.

-Shredder & extruder combined: Good idea for an alternative design. Also should be no big problem if you have the plans for both machines 😉
-Price estimate: I agree! Maybe show a price range. The more time, the cheaper etc.

-How do you define the limitations of a DIY machine where every machine is diffrent from another(motor, shaft, etc.)?


But yeah I think a different shredder blade design would be amazing, optimally in a way that one can upgrade an existing shredder!


All the best


28/05/2018 at 08:58

Now that welding-based 3D printing is as cheap and viable as plastic-based, maybe do some research into what parts of what machines can be printed, to (perhaps drastically) reduce costs? Maybe some of the parts could be printed with plastic too, like how the reprap is partially 3D printed.

21/04/2018 at 11:19


How about electronic waste?
How about paper?
How about food waste?
How about metal waste?

How about lower to electronic energy cosumption with changing all screen to darker style?
Dark Screens World Wide

How about collaboration with litterati, to streamline the plastic to reusage?

Making a device or app for a phone to help determine the plastic’s type?

How about a fund raising for full PP kit to underdeveloped regions?

27/02/2018 at 10:59

Having other means than a Paypal Business account to sell / to be verified in the bazar. After reading the conditions of use, i cancelled my business-account and took off my item from the bazar.

06/02/2018 at 17:46


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04/05/2019 at 23:19

@chep, the article you linked here says 250$ for a bench; I couldn’t even run the electricity needed with this budget making such bench 🙂

04/05/2019 at 23:11

@s2019,  works well, you won’t regret it, just make sure you can feed metal sheet as well (min. 1.5mm); this old tony has a sweet take on this one 🙂

28/03/2019 at 17:47

@themorris if you like to contribute, we could need a hand. we’ve setup 3 commissions, translations (spanish, catalan, french and german for now), the Precious Plastic version 3.0 – 3.1 manuals and there is endless work about having complete kits, taking all the reports (accidents) as well circumstances into account when shipping PP as a product (warranty, liability safety, etc..). pretty much all to make PP accessible to non-tech|DIY folks such as schools, NGOs, etc… The only final problem seems that PP HQ Eindhoven doesn’t take those user submissions to the main page; at least that’s the state of now so we’re forced to create precious-plastic.org which sucks, considering the overlap (waste) and confusion for everybody at the end 🙁

28/03/2019 at 10:25

i think it’s rather handled as commissions, not as a ‘project’ per se. hard to say, they never published information about all this. about cleaning planet, recent studies rather showed it’s all too late, no what matter we do now. about the 300K, no idea either, i hope Dave put the half under this pillow to have a decent living sometime, i think it’s rather all gone. PP isn’t a normal organization, i think they don’t want too much liability or transparency, etc… no idea what’s going on…
sending machines to the east ? most machines are already there or coming from there 🙂

26/03/2019 at 17:06

@themorris, hey there! thanks for your suggestions. I am commenting here because we’ve mutual impressions. just to let you know, the team in Eindhoven is fully booked til the end of the year. I am not aware of a free project management position on the v4 team. For now it’s rather a loose pool of people trying things in different directions. About areas with no coverage: please lets not forget that initial idea of PP was to turn plastic waste into something ‘precious’, later on it was about recycling bigger quantities (ongoing, also covered in v4) and parallel to both directions it become somewhat a sanctuary for DIY enthusiasts. However, covering the east or any non european areas is really difficult. We have NGO clients reporting us frequently to get machines over there. I am not quite sure PP should have this as goal at all but there endless initiatives from within the areas itself but obviously, nobody can re-invent plastic recycling 😉 As machine builders I can tell you, it’s insane expensive to get anything out of the EU. The only thing you could do from here is creating a network and funnel funding to organisations/individuals who build the thing from scratch which is pretty difficult too since you need way less cost excessive machines as now..
You’re also definitely right about missing details and ready-to-go receipts to get people going with different budgets but as far I know v4 will address some of it.

01/03/2019 at 09:43

Where is PP V3? I see PPV2, but no 3.

21/11/2018 at 14:30

Hi first post here. I probably need to introduce myself somewhere sorry if I don’t maybe later.


How about this: combine an extruder with a 3d printer omitting the need of filament

Apparently making usable filament is a big problem because of the tolerances.


I think it could be a bit less complicated.


Just a thought I hope this will be of some use

Keep up the good work


Cheers Jeroen

20/10/2018 at 10:50

Hi team have you looked into a plastic welder. I have seen a lot of plastic thrown out that could have been fixed. It could also be a good tool for joining panels to create bigger works.

05/07/2018 at 15:09

I agree with all the suggestions made by @unity. The machines are small scale so each community needs their own machines, but we don’t each want to reinvent the wheel when it comes to moulds etc. Is there a database where mould plans can be uploaded, stored, searched and downloaded? That would be a great addition to V4.

05/07/2018 at 09:42

What about a Mooc, you have plenty of videos and info, look at Barbara Oakley’s Moocs? Then it would be something that is more widely spread, as I came across Precious Plastic through Youtube. An open course for everyone discussing the types of plastics and how they can be processed, even the real nasty ones are being turned into roof tiles in many countries now for example. It is the future of education with millions of students and Unis in the Netherlands are already doing them?

29/06/2018 at 06:15

Hello!, first of all I have to say that I love you, it is amazing to find people like you, with this vission you changed my life for good!, thanks for that!

I want to work in the recollection and classification of waste in order to recycle  and work with plastic, but also to help other recycling processes as well.

Im begginning with the shreder, and feel very enthusiastic about all that communnity and life style you created for us.

I hope to be usefull, I will share all my process in the future.

Chao amigos!

23/06/2018 at 18:37

another thing i just realized when thinking about the kind of users we have here, and also the kind of environments people are using the machines:

– please do check that the frame of any of the PP machines is wired to the earth ground! If not, please do so. there can be deadly consequences under some circumstances
– please do check for proper grounding of your control-panel, it has to be connected to earth ground too !!

23/06/2018 at 18:28

we just got our station reliable up and running and so we started collecting plastic and went to our next trash collection point. they have thousands of HDPE large bottles. we took them home and cut them in pieces (tedious work), we realized there are quite lot of weird substance in there. so please make a big fat WARNING:

– consider to use sufficient body protection (100%) when collecting and washing industrial HDPE bottles
– consider having a dedicated room for washing the plastic, there might be poisonous substances in the waste
– consider good equipment when washing plastic
– consider you’re now also creating industrial chemistry waste which needs to go back to proper waste stations
– consider to use 100% safe breathing protection
– consider to get a large band-saw to cut these plastic bottles more efficiently
(DIY: variants could be around 50 – 200 euro )
– consider a proper ventilation system not only for the washing and cutting part, but also when heating it inside extrusion or injection barrel

please make it bold and clear: industrial waste requires big and proper equipped rooms to be recycled, we are talking here about 500-3000 euro extra equipment, mentioned nowhere. i have no idea what these substances are, but i know they could be extreme dangerous. i had to abort the entire task today because of missing equipment !

16/06/2018 at 13:12

@unratonloco, I’m machine builder, with clients intending the recycle bottles, could you please open a dedicated forum topic on the subject ‘extrusion screw design for PET/plastic bottles’ ? thanks!

15/06/2018 at 19:12

I think the V4 should focus on a machine that can be placed on field so any pedestrian can walk towards it with a handful of plastic and by inserting the plastic, the machine will shred, and create an object like a medal or a bracelet as a reward. That can make ANYONE get involved into recycling and creating valuable objects from “garbage”

14/06/2018 at 17:17

technically, if @davehakkens would finally take some responsibility and act honest and also stops treating us as his own personal design and pet project, the v3 machinery has to be taken offline as it’s done also in the industry: for instance when a car causes more damage than use, the company calls it back, no  matter the price! and seriously, don’t come up with goovy excuses like : ‘ it’s platform ‘ or ‘it’s a movement’. i can tell you what it is: it’s a serious disaster, nothing more, especially when looking at outcome of the machines, period.

01/06/2018 at 09:56

one more important thing is to improve the manuals. at the moment there is a github repo which compiles to a downloadable zip, which is nice but it in reality I to have spent weeks (still ongoing) to get more realistic prices & recommendations to build the machines. so this is how it could be improved:
– build an application which allows you to graphically explore machines
– users should be able to attach links and inline information to machines and parts (can be stored via github api/gists)
– allow users to add variants of the machines
(i’m currently investigating this, my favourite is ‘fabric.js’ and a gist driven storage, rendered via github.io page)

a part from getting realistic numbers and machine requirements, having quick access to other machine designs is also pretty crucial. there are designs better fitted to some context, I realized myself too late that i need different blades, a bigger motor and also combine shredder & extrusion in one machine (less footprint, cheaper to build). As already said, there should be clear warnings that the standard v3 design come with lots of problems, this can create huge costs on our ends …

also i see the forum/github – only in itself very limited for collaborative work in regards developing further the project. there are many started topics but it’s hard for people to actually contribute. for instance there is no contribution/task list where people can just jump in and help. This could be done classically,as it’s done in companies: use a tool like ‘kanbanize’. That way we can see ongoing efforts, ideas and tasks, also with links to discussions because a word document is just not fitted. The kanban approach was initially designed for waste-management but I think it fits very well for the mission: more clarity, transparency & efficiency , easier to contribute….

so again, easier access to community ideas & designs could reduce the waste/time drastically when stepping into the project….

again, if you guys need help, let me know.


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